From « a master of historical fiction » (NPR), an exhilarating tale of post-war New York City, and one remarkable woman’s journey from the United Nations, to the cloistered drawing rooms of Manhattan society, to the secretive ranks of the FBI.
A WOMAN OF INTELLIGENCE
by Karin Tanabe
St. Martin’s Press, July 2021 (voir catalogue)
Katharina Edgeworth seems to have the perfect life. She is the daughter of immigrants, Ivy-League-educated, and speaks four languages. As a single girl in 1940s Manhattan, she is employed as a translator at the newly formed United Nations, devoting her days to her work and the promise of world peace—and her nights to cocktails and the promise of a good time. Now, in 1954 Katharina has the ideal husband, two healthy sons, and enjoys the luxuries of Fifth Avenue; but she is desperate to break free from the constraints of domesticity before depression breaks her for good. When the FBI approaches her to become an informant, Katharina seizes the opportunity. A man from her past has become a high-level Soviet spy, but no one has been able to infiltrate his circle. Enter Katharina, the perfect woman for the job. Navigating the demands of the FBI and the secrets of the KGB, she becomes a courier, carrying stolen government documents from Washington D.C. to Manhattan. But as those closest to her lose their covers, and their lives, Katharina’s secret—which fills her with purpose and reignites her self-worth––soon threatens to ruin her. With the fast-paced twists of a classic spy thriller, a celebration of post-war New York City, and a nuanced depiction of the complexity of motherhood, A WOMAN OF INTELLIGENCE shimmers with Tanabe’s trademark acerbic wit, attention to historical detail, and sharp understanding of human desire.
Karin Tanabe is the author of A Hundred Suns, The Diplomat’s Daughter, The Gilded Years, The Price of Inheritance, and The List. A former Politico reporter, her writing has also appeared in the The Washington Post, Miami Herald, Chicago Tribune, and Newsday. She has made frequent appearances as a celebrity and politics expert on Entertainment Tonight, CNN, and The CBS Early Show. A graduate of Vassar College, Karin lives in Washington, DC.